What I’ve Learned From Indiegogo, A Crowdfunding Platform to Raise Money

SupportAfricaCover3

Some of you may be late to the tea party, so here is an update: Be Awesome raised 10K with Indiegogo.com. 30% of our funds will go towards products and merchandise awarded to our backers. The other 70% will go towards Africa. This article will sum up my summer, campaign and future plans  with the movement.

Have you ever tried to Raise Money?

It took 4 months of thinking to figure out a fun way to raise money. I brainstormed ideas and thought about different concepts. I had no idea what to do.

We have all tried to raise money before. And if you are like myself, you understand that asking for money can be really hard and uncomfortable. How do you convince a stranger to support you? A smart idea, an easy concept and people who back you. Using  Indiegogo.com a fresh way to create a campaign, helped enormously in raising money and gaining global exposure!

How does Indiegogo work?

Indiegogo is an easy crowdfunding platform that ables others to donate funds easily. You create and idea or cause, describe it in detail, use images and or video to explain more and offer perks/rewards for your generous donors.

The most important part of creating an indiegogo campaign is a video and/or clear concept and idea. I was somewhat able to do this with my campaign: Be Awesome Africa . Our idea was to take 200+ t-shirts to a selected country in Africa. (My thoughts on this below)

Ups and Downs

After launching the campaign, I created time to sit down and really think about my idea. My mind started to wonder, “holy crap this idea is all wrong”. Why? Well why would you send 200+ t-shirts to a third-world country? I started to do a little research and ran across this article: The 7 Worst International Aid Ideas. As I scrolled down my heart skipped a beat and I see at number one 1. One million t-shirts for Africa. Was I shocked, not even a little.

Now usually number one is a good thing, but in this case it was not good at all. My idea and thoughts rapidly changed and my concept to take t-shirts to Africa (though my heart was in the right place) was entirely wrong. Sure I do believe these shirts can help others become motivated and live a happy life. I also believe they have the ability to make others follow their dreams as well. Did I plan to take 1 million like the company in the article above? No. But the point is, these countries need more than t-shirts.

Having the opportunity to speak with NGOS that are based in third world countries I started to realize my excitement overshadowed a bigger purpose. Like all people, I made a mistake. I quickly went to indiegogo and updated my message, telling everyone my new plan: To raised money to take a limited amount of t-shirts and use the rest to support families and groups in need. Such a relief.

How did I find support?

It was very challenging to find people to support my cause. I was extremely lucky to have really good friends and family members that helped out a lot. After thousands of tweets and facebook post and messages (Sorry) I continued to find support from everyone. I reached out to a number of newspapers and television stations, unfortunately I was unsuccessful. Finding publicity  is extremely important when trying to run a campaign. Television and newspapers only amplify the buzz and word of mouth about your product or campaign.

What I would have done differently

Research, research, research! It is so important to have a solid idea and concept before running a campaign. Talk to friends about it, share it with family, and do some serious research on how it is going to make the world a better place. If could change anything about my campaign it would be my pitch (main focus) and products. Though my products were good, I would offered less to keep orders less confusing.

What’s next for Be Awesome?

I have two goals by 2014. 1. Visit Rwanda and volunteer with children and families 2.  Be Awesome website up and running.

On October 8th-18th I will be traveling to Rwanda. Myself and a friend will be visiting local families and helping a local NGO: GraceRwanda with a variety of activities. We will spend our nights with a local family, explore and visit with a youth group and learn cultural and historic values with a women’s group from a local church. Once our schedule is confirm I will gladly post it online so you can keep track of our journey.

The website is coming (I Promise). I have been working with some  awesome designers and some new ideas and concepts to bring the Be Awesome idea a new taste. I am excited to show you what we’ve come up with. My idea is to launch before the end of November. More details about this will come later.

PS: Keep real friends close, be careful with everyone else..

Until Next Time,

Thanks again for all of the support!

Continue to #BeAwesome and give as much as you can!

I’m outta hurr!

Peace

 

Be Awesome Africa Day 1 Results

Hey everyone,

Day one is in the books and Be Awesome Africa is  underway !

Our goal for week one:

Facebook storm!

What we want to do with week one is shower the largest social media network in the world with post, re-post, statues and private messages about our campaign! It is still very early in regards to where we are in funds and publicity, but we believe that Facebook Storm will be a large part of our success. This week up until next Wednesday, the facebook team will post like crazy, and message as many of our friends about Be Awesome Africa.

What can you do? We ask that you do the same. You may not want to get to crazy (it can get annoying for most people) but a private message is better than a direct link on someone’s wall (Unless you are comfortable doing do). Copy the link: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/be-awesome-africa/x/3442576?c=home and send it to all of your friends and family!

Contributions: Thank everyone who has funded our project on Day 1. Our project is 6% completed and we are so pumped about that! With lots of time left we are confident in reaching our final goal $27,993 !!!

Until next time!

#BeAwesome

Change is good :-)

I always enjoyed change. Whether it was trying something new in a restaurant or reading a new book, I’ve always embraced the not so common in my life. Last year I decided to teach in a foreign country, meet new friends and travel the world. For me, change has always brought the best out of me, and given me ways to learn more about myself.

Yes, it was completely out of the ordinary to move and teach in Kuwait. But if you stay with the status quo and do things that have been already been done, how will you create a legacy for yourself. If you are content with being similar to the person next to you, by any means continue to stay normal. If you ever want to be extraordinary, do things people think you can’t do.

When I think about change, I think about why I am doing it, and what I can get from it. From there, I think about whether or not this change is going to be good for me in the long run. Some people create drastic changes right away without doing the research first, or really thinking about their decision, which is fine but very risky and leaves no room for error.

Opportunities to change help your critical thinking skills. It demands deep thoughts and a rough sketch of your ideas. The changes in my life have allowed me to grow as a person, learn from my mistakes and begin to make decision on my own. Here are 3 reasons why change is good:

One: Change is an adventure

Adventure

I can definitely be the person to tell you that change is an adventure. It takes you outside of your comfort zone and makes you figure out things on your own. With that said, you do receive some help along the way, but for the most part, the final say goes through you. The idea of this adventure is to explore and see what is out there, what can you use from this experience to create a better you.

Two: Change is learning

LearningBlocks

Some people run from change. A regular way of living is to just go with the flow, allow things to happen, and simply do what ever you are asked. That said, change creates learning experiences that you can only receive on your own. At the end of the day, you need to be able to adjust when things are thrown at you from different angles. You are not always going to have someone to help you. You are not always going to have the pitch right down the middle. Change allows you to work on these skills and start doing things truly because you believe in them.

Three: Change is Opportunity

Opp

When I think about opportunities, and the possibilities of doing exactly what I want to do in life, I become overjoyed and excited for the changes that are about to happen once I pursue them. Opportunities come and go, the tricky part is deciding which one or two (or even three) you want to pursue and go with. Change allows you to explore these options. It opens many doors, and closes many as well.

Conclusion

You can probably think of a variety of reasons why change is good. The more you grow and explore, challenge yourself to do new things, you will realize the learning and growth that happens when you decide to make changes in your life. Ask questions and take risk. Be careful and mindful of your thoughts, and embrace difference.

Put your BIG BOY pants on!

If you had the chance to read my last blog you probably know that I’ve been really busy. School is wrapping up, and ever day it feels like I have something else I have to  complete. A bit overwhelmed to say the lease. With that, I found myself thinking to often, and spending too much time on negative thoughts and energy. How can I do this? What if this doesn’t work? I spent a lot of time worrying about the what if? and how comes? These are all questions that make our bodies and minds think negatively or upset about something instantly. We carry these questions with us for days and until we find answers. Some of us carry these questions for months and years.

I started acting different. My response to simple conversation. Daily interactions with others. Emails. Phone calls. Everything. And you know what, it wasn’t me. I spent one day apologizing to everyone I thought I made upset. All because of one or two things I was unsure about. Then I thought, why am I making these individuals suffer because of my problems. Or my issues. What do I need to do to get out of this slump?

To do this, I normally tell myself “Put your Big Boy Pants on” and stop complaining. Take a look at the bigger picture, and realize that things aren’t so bad. For starters I look at my surroundings and block out anything that bothers me. Anything that is negatively affecting my goals or dreams. If you have a goal you need to protect it. Some people do not realize when they are stopping others from doing what they love. You need to harness that mindset and make changes that are going to affect your future in a good way.Block out the frustration by looking forward to the big picture. Life is about taking the necessary steps to reach your ultimate goals. Everything in between is called a “lesson” or “experience”. You should never allow a lesson or experience that is taking place, overcome and shadow your ultimate goals.

Take a look at the BIG PICTURE. Once you have this picture in your mind, you can always find ways to benefit from negative experiences you go through in life. That worry (or thought) that continuously plays in your head. The negative emotions and feelings you have about something or someone. Once, you “flip the script” and make it into a learning experience, your mindset and mood should change. Think about the advantages you have, privileges, opportunities and blessing. Is that moment of frustration worth more than all of that? I highly doubt it. We get lost in conflict, and disappear in what we call “life”. We start to see it and talk about it, but forget to live it.

“Next you need to pull up your big boy pants and tap into a mindset that allows you to block out the frustration”- Kobe

#KobeMeanMug

#KobeMeanMug

My thoughts came from Kobe Bryant on this years 2012-2013,Los Angeles Lakers, and Pau Gasol. Kobe speaks on Pau, “Put your big-boy pants on,” Kobe said with a trace of disgust in his voice. “C’mon … just adjust. You can’t whine about it or complain about it. Heck, I’m 34 years old, and I’m running screen-and-rolls out there because Steve is out, and my ass is running up and down the court more than I ever have in my entire career. But you have to adjust to it”. One thing I always find about great pro athletes are that they are able to overcome incredible odds and disfavour by simply adjusting the way they think. 

There comes a point and time in life were you simply have to stop all the complaining. Feeling sorry for yourself. Making excuses as to why things are the way they are. Making other individuals lives miserable because you think yours is as well. Take an oath, and start creating and environment that allows you to exceed beyond expectation. Stop thinking negatively about yourself. Stop allowing others to dictate what you do and how you do it. Put your big boy pants on and lead your future. Hey, if this does not interest you, others will gladly do it for you. That is all for now.

Continue to

-BeAwesome

4 Things I’ve Learned From Rocky

BeAwesome: #332 4 Things I’ve Learned From Rocky

MrT&TheRock

MrT&TheRock

Cause if you’re willing to go through all the battling you got to go through to get where you want to get, who’s got the right to stop you? I mean maybe some of you guys got something you never finished, something you really want to do, something you never said to someone, something… and you’re told no, even after you paid your dues? Who’s got the right to tell you that, who? Nobody! It’s your right to listen to your gut, it ain’t nobody’s right to say no after you earned the right to be where you want to be and do what you want to do!… You know, the older I get the more things I gotta leave behind, that’s life.

I am not a huge fan of movies. I try to catch a flick if the buzz is worthy. I try to look in on what the public is saying about a film. I also try to think for my overall interest and self when deciding what to watch or pay for. Ideally, I could care less about movies. But I do appreciate a good film that is well produced and directed.

Recently I’ve taken a time capsule into the 80’s-90’s, and found some of my all time favorite fighting movies. Now don’t get me wrong, I am far from a violent person, but do enjoy a good action film once in a while. I have to tell you the 80’s-90s are full of great films and actors.

Without any debate, I decided to watch Rocky II, which turned into Rocky III, which turned into Rocky IV (Sylvester Stallone). I was easily interested at the very beginning of Rocky II. The theme music and words of inspiration automatically hit my eyes and ears at first glance. I forgot about the hidden messages about love, heart ache and pain, the inspiration in following your dreams, working hard and being motivated. I forgot about a great film and production.

As I watched Rocky II, I started to think about the conversations he (Rocky) would have with the other co-stars during the film: Apollo Creed (Friend/Champion), Adrian (Girlfriend) & Mickey Goldmill (Trainer). These were individuals Rocky would always talk to/or about. If you really take in on the conversations and feelings that were played out during the film, you could start to think of the lessons to be learned from watching the film. I took in 3 Rocky films and this is what I learned from each relationship:

Creed&Rock

Creed&Rock

Rocky & Apollo Creed:

Rocky III: Nobody owes nobody nothin’. You owe yourself.

Besides from being the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World and given nicknames such as, The King of Sting, The Master of Disaster, The Prince of Punch, Mr. Creed played a vital role in Rocky’s success as a character (physically & mentally). If you watched the early years of Rocky, you know the underlining of these two characters. In short: Apollo beats Rocky in a spilt decision in Rocky I, and in Rocky II, Rocky win’s in knockout fashion. Through the two films (Particularly Rocky II) you start to see a sense of respect from each fighter. The hard work and dedication between two professional athletes show as they embrace in a fight that means so much more than a belt or a status.

Apollo retired from boxing after the fight, and credited Rocky for his work ethic and hard-fought battles. Balboa and Creed instantly became friends, and Creed decided to help Rocky win in Rocky III.

Friendships should never be taken for granted. You may fight with each other. You may knock each other down. You may even make each other bleed and feel really bad about one another, but even if these things happen, you must understand that friendships are built and created through fight and struggle. Friends hold together because of these experiences. Never lose a friend because of a silly fight. Always remember that the person, the human, the individual is more important.

Mickey&Rock

Mickey&Rock

Rocky & Mickey Goldmill

Rocky IV: Going in one more round when you don’t think you can – that’s what makes all the difference in your life.

Mickey managed a gym. Rocky was a regular face in his open space at the time at a local boxing club. From the very beginning, when know one thought Rocky would be anything, Mickey knew all along. He eventually, approached Rocky about being his manager. From day one, Mickey was Rocky’s number one supporter. Motivating him when he never thought he could do something. Pushing him to levels everyone else in the world thought he would never reach.

In Rocky III, Mickey becomes ill from a fall. Rocky loses a fight, and loses his mentor and father figure in Mickey. Later Rocky defeats his former opponent in respects to Mickey’s death.

The importance of having a mentor or someone who can guide/help you through life is important. You may think you are super (man or woman) but you are not. Even those with who have the greatest talent need guidance and help with their craft or journey. The art of listening to others and allowing others to speak is becoming non-existent. We think we can do it all by ourselves. Listening to others and taking criticism is a part of life. It is how we learn and become better people.  Having a mentor or someone you can talk to does not make you less of a person. It simply means you are open-minded and able to listen and apply suggestions from others.

Adrian&Rock

Adrian&Rock

Rocky & Adrian

Rocky IV: I guess what I’m trying to say is, if I can change, and you can change, everybody can change.

Adrian was a close friend of Rocky who simply worked at a pet shop. In Rocky II, Adrian and Rocky would tie the knot and marry. They had a son name Rocky Jr. Over the course of their relationship, they manage to overcome struggles together; Adrian’s pregnancy, Rocky’s fights and lavish life and many other decisions made together between the two.

In Rocky IV, Adrian became a source of stability for Rocky though she never enjoyed the act of fighting. She continued to support and encourage him to do well during each and every fight.

A relationship can mean a lot to an individual. It does not have to be intimate to be a successful relationship. Throughout life we need individuals to keep us grounded. Individuals who will tell us the things our friends and family are scared to say. Everyone needs a boy they can talk to. Everyone needs a girl they can speak with. Relationships are what you make them into. You have the power to make all relationships successful. Having people you can sincerely trust and rely on is important. It gives the person a sense of comfort when speaking or exploring ideas. A good friend is something everyone needs. If you want one, you should start by being one.

Rocky is about facing your fears and pushing yourself to the limit. Creating long-lasting relationships and understanding what it takes to be successful.

Inspiration from the #Rock:

-BeAwesome

The NEW WEBSITE SPLASH PAGE

Hello friends,

Here is a bit of what me and some really talented people (www.qnacreatives.com) have been working on for the best few months. With lots of help and guidance, Be Awesome is taking its level of professionalism, quality and branding to the next level. Why? Well that is what YOU deserve. The support and overwhelming messages received from family, friends and strangers (love me some strangers) have been great. We had no choice but to make this thing a little more than just a brand. We are now officially a lifestyle brand. Promoting a way of life. A purpose. Look for more exciting news to come. This is only the beginning 🙂 Visit our new Facebook page: Beawesomenow

BA:-)

BA:-)

THE TIME IS NOW PEOPLE! BE AWESOME!

Why Writing A Journal Is Important

BeAwesome: #330 Why Writing A Journal Is Important

FindSomething2WriteIn

FindSomething2WriteIn

Sometimes we need to express our thoughts. We have so much to say and no one to tell it to. Sometimes a friend is not what you are looking for. Sometimes our mom and dad are not the ears we want to express our feelings to. Sometimes your thoughts need to written instead of spoken. Here is why a writing in a journal is important:

Talk about yourself:

Who doesn’t like to toot their own horn (Talk about yourself) once in a while? A side from being cocky or full of yourself, you should be able to praise some aspects of “you” every day. We often forget that this is an important part of mental health. In your journal should reflect on how life is going, the people around you, the past and things you love most. It is an open book for you to talk about experiences and “you”. You should always be able to find something positive about your self in your journal.

Success/Scheduling

A journal is a great place to write down your goals and accomplishments. It can also be used as a schedule. For starters, you can write the things you want to complete in a day, week, month and eventually a year. A long with planning, a journal should also be used for goal setting. Making a list of things you want to accomplish is important, and should be used as a reminder for everyone.

Responsibility

Hold yourself accountable for what you write in your journal. Your journal should be a place were you tell the truth. Writing down what you truly believe will allow you to make a bigger and more realistic picture of what you want. With that, it will help you figure out how and what you need to do to get there as well.

Writing a journal today is more than, talking about a girlfriend or a boyfriend. It is not about gossip or telling yourself how much you hate your best friend, teacher or coworker. Writing a journal is about relaxing your mind. Taking you away from your normal life and writing. Writing about what makes you feel good. How things are going. What you can do to make your life more pleasurable. Journal writing is about finding you. Finding different interest. Finding what that makes you smile. Of course it can be used for sad and angry times of your life, but remember: All negative things in life should be used to motivate you in a positive light.

Be a Writer

-BeAwesome